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Cut your petrol spend

It now costs £67 to fill your tank – but you can cut your petrol spend

Increased oil prices have meant we're paying more for fuel at the petrol pump than at any time in the last three years – and prices look set to stay high all year.

The average cost of a litre of unleaded petrol last month was 121.11p, the highest since December 2014 according to the RAC. This works out at £66.61 to fill a 55-litre tank - a tenner more than it was in March 2016 when the average was just 102p per litre.

Over a year this is likely to have a big impact on drivers, so any way to save money on fuel is worth checking out.

Fill up where it’s cheaper

We'd always advocate shopping around for the lowest price, and supermarket pumps are often among the cheapest. But it’s pointless driving out of your way to save a few pence per litre.

However, if you get to know the petrol stations on your regular routes you’ll know which ones are cheapest – so pull in to those pumps when you’re driving past. And if you’re about to go on a long motorway journey or out into the middle of nowhere, fill up before you have no choice but to pay inflated prices.

Drive better

You can also reduce how much fuel you use to lower your regular costs. That doesn't mean driving less (though of course that would make a difference).

The trick is to drive in a more fuel efficient manner. Some of the top ways include:

  • Slowing down
  • Break less
  • Accelerate less
  • Avoid roof racks
  • Remove heavy items in the boot you don’t need
  • Drive when there’s less traffic
  • Go slow and steady at speed bumps
  • Use aircon less
  • Check your tyres
  • Get your car regularly serviced.

Get a different car

You'll save between 10% and 15% on fuel if you drive a manual car rather than automatic – though semi-automatics are a lot better.

Newer cars are often more fuel efficient so should cost you less – though that’s not a reason to buy a new car!

Though diesel cars do tend to use less fuel, buying the fuel is often more than petrol – and it’s going to cost more as higher taxes on diesel were announced in the Autumn Budget.

You could even opt for electric or hybrid cars which you charge rather than fill up.

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